CommunityNewsPeopleRon Baker

Do We Have Too Much Culture?

By Ron Baker

It was one of those “driving in my car and listening to the radio” moments!

The pop culture commentators were talking about the deluge of films that have come out this past year – along with the almost constant self-congratulating awards shows. These commentators are culture critics who watch films for a living. Even they were tired of the ceaseless barrage.

When I talk of culture, I specifically relate to the pool in which a group of people live. They swim in the water, breathe the air, and are conditioned by the exercise of the culture.

Someone in a particular culture can seamlessly navigate social situations without referring to a manual or a bible of directions and regulations. They have carried the culture on their backs and have absorbed the expectations.

When a newcomer arrives, an instructional period is needed. Not all newcomers care for their new culture – and they will often make that quite plain. Those who do care will spend time in study and practice. Until practice makes perfect and the newcomer is welcomed as a member.

Back to the pop culture commentators.

Having seen so many films, they are exhausted and fatigued. One mentioned that maybe the easiest thing would be just to watch Hallmark movies – basically isolating yourself in your own culture. A colony or collective or commune is a safe place.

But our society seems to thrive on multi-culturalism. Until we don’t.

The “don’t” comes when information overload happens. The “don’t” comes when we decide to have a principled life where there is a definite right and wrong. The “don’t” comes when our first response is to doubt and not have faith in others. The “don’t” comes when . . .

How do we back out of too much culture? I heard some answers from the pop culture commentators. The essence is to be intentional in how you want to form your own life.

Now, let me be very plain here – your chosen culture can bring either death or life. Take a breath! Find out if your culture is currently leading to death. Seek and you will find out. Knock loudly and the door will open for your understanding. Ask others for their wise advice. Join the culture that is leading to life.

Now is the time where I would like to give a few pithy phrases that can help you in navigating the storms of culture. Set aside the interlopers, die to the outdated culture, dig down into the culture you have chosen. Be sure minded and wholehearted. And let me just add, chose the culture that brings life and love, and does not promote death and hatred.

Just riding in my car!

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